“Pray then like this:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’” Matthew 6:9-13
We have been looking at the Lord’s Prayer these past couple of weeks and I hope this quick look has made an impression on you concerning how important this prayer is (it is given twice in the Gospels as a model prayer…but given twice impressing upon us its importance). But also, I hope you have understood how important this prayer is for us when we don’t know what to say…what to pray…in the dark moments of our soul. To incorporate this prayer to memory enables us to be blessed as God delights in having His words said back to Him by His children.
But you may say, “Where is the rest of this prayer?” Go to your Bibles and if you have an ESV to Matthew 6 and Luke 11, you won’t find the rest except in the notes below. The rest? “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.” As your notes will say “some manuscripts add this phrase as a fitting doxology” to what Jesus has said here. Doxology is always appropriate as we are directed always to praise and give thanks the Lord in all things. Since so many of us are used to saying this let’s consider it for a moment just like we have done for the previous verses.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says this, Q107: What does the conclusion the Lord’s prayer teach us? A: The conclusion of the Lord’s prayer, which is, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.” teaches us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise Him, ascribing kingdom, power and glory to Him. And, in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen. Interestingly, the Geneva Bible adds this as if the Lord had in fact said this, teaching His disciples not only to ask for things that are needed for them to glorify the Father but to also attribute to God what is properly His…” …the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever…” God is due adoration and Jesus leaves His disciples and us with this reminder of just how important this is that we do regularly pray this way whether in good times or in affliction. He actually gives us three things for us to focus on as we praise God; His kingdom come, His power and His glory..3 things we need to focus our praise and thanksgiving toward on a regular basis. I wonder, is it perhaps our failure in doing exactly this that we so often do not experience the blessings God has given to us?
This is not anything new; for in the Old Testament we see prayer and praise continually joined together so shall it be as we pray to our Father now. Paul put it this way in Philippians 4:6-7-“ The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In this model prayer, God is clearly seen as both the Alpha and the Omega. The prayer opens with us addressing Him as “Our Father in heaven…”; and it ends by praising Him as the Supreme Sovereign over all His creation, when we declare “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.” The little word “for” or “because” is very important…we can pray these things expecting God to hear and to answer, BECAUSE “ yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.” And, on top of that they will never change…these are true forever!
Before I close, consider again the “Amen” at the end of this prayer. For the word in Hebrew simply means “so be it” or “it shall be”. While this word is often translated in the New testament with the words, “Truly, Truly” or “Verily, Verily” it also means in the Greek “so be it”. The point? God has determined that these things be so for generations since before Adam and now the whole Church is to rise up with its desire that God would “make it so”. In saying “Amen” in our public and private prayers we are acknowledging our longing to see God do what He has promised and at the same time we affirm our confidence that He will…in His time and in His way…which is always good.
So as you pray this prayer, truly let it soak into your heart and then begin to talk with God openly and honestly as He has shown us we can. For He created us, loves us (those He has chosen) and wants and delights in hearing from us. Using the Lord’s Prayer is a way to communicate with God just as He has prescribed. At the heart of all our prayers ought to be words that God Himself has taught His children. It is His Word that is powerful, sustaining and will overcome all our anxieties in this fallen life. This prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, as we call it, is simple enough to be memorized by the youngest of us and yet profound enough to sustain us a whole life time in prayer. God Bless!
In His Grip,